ZIMBABWE and Iran are discussing collaboration in the financial and banking sector, and will soon open discussions in health and agriculture collaboration as part of efforts to boost the economic ties between the two countries.
Speaking during a Mid-Term Review of the 8th Session of the Zimbabwe-Iran Permanent Joint Commission on Co-operation in Harare yesterday, Mr Hamed Forouzan, Director-General of International Affairs in the Iranian Ministry of Co- operatives, Labour and Social Welfare and Co-Chair of the review meeting, said Zimbabwean representatives in the financial sector were in Iran on a collaboration scouting mission and noted that Iran was preparing for visitors from the health and agricultural sectors soon.
“We consider a lot of value for this friendship.
“Despite our close political ties, our economic and bilateral relations are not at a satisfactory level.
“We hope that we can improve the bilateral and economic relations in the shortest period of time. We are hopeful that we can expand our economic co-operation in different fields.
“We are hopeful that our business delegations in different fields can travel to Zimbabwe,” said Mr Forouzan.
“We have in the past hosted delegations from Zimbabwe in Iran. In the past few days the director of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe was in Iran.
“We are hopeful that we can initiate the financial and banking relations between the two countries. We will soon host a delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health.”
Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ambassador James Manzou, the other co-chair of the mid-term review meeting, said the indaba offered an opportunity to take stock of the progress made in implementing decisions made at the 8th Session of the Permanent Joint Commission on Co-operation held in Harare in 2015.
“It also presents us an opportunity to introspect and evaluate the road we need to travel in order to reinvigorate our bilateral co-operation.
“Indeed, a lot has changed on the ground, including evolving global trends as well as the global Covid-19 pandemic, whose devastating effects we feel to this day. We need to take into account these changes as we chart a new path in our bilateral relations,” said Ambassador Manzou.
“Our two countries enjoy excellent political relations that have transcended many administrations and generations. These relations have translated into close co- operation between our two delegations at international forums, including at the Non- Aligned Movement.
“Given such a rich background of co-operation, we should strive to develop and expand our trade and economic relations for the benefit of our two countries and people.”
Ambassador Manzou said such meetings offer an opportunity to share experiences on how to frustrate the inglorious vocations of detractors.
Zimbabwe and Iran were the innocent victims of illegal and ruinous sanctions by western countries over sovereign decisions to pursue independent paths of development.
Ambassador Manzou said in the spirit of South-South Co-operation, they should harness resources to further develop the two nations so that they reduce dependence on industrialised countries.
“The onus is on our meeting today and tomorrow to provide leadership to our colleagues from other ministries and departments in earnest preparations for the 9th Session of our JPCC, by implementing the decisions we reached at the last session.
“It is also imperative that this meeting comes up with proposed dates for convening the next session of the JPCC which we will recommend to our Ministers for their consideration,” he said.